Have you ever tried to hold a clump of sand in your hands? Of course you have. Then you know that the more tightly you try to grip it the more the sand just falls from every crack and crevice. You also know the other side of that coin, too: if you're too lackadaisical you'll drop the whole load. To keep a hold on as much of your precious sand as possible, your grip must be structured yet relaxed, balanced, and at ease. It's much the same with our grip on anything we do to build our ideal lifestyle.
Hustle and bustle is already upon us, and we know that it can be surprisingly difficult to keep up with our self-care practices when our attention (and wallets) are being pulled in so many directions. But never fear, dears, for MOJO is here with tools aplenty to help you stay sane this holiday season.
This week we have a special guest posting from Kelsey Struble. She is an avid yogi who began her practice at home, and prefers to keep it that way. Maybe some of you readers can relate?
lus, get the latest update from the ladies of Team MOJO on a brand new video edition of The MOJO Show. We're working on how to promote our business in our accelerator program, and we've got some tips for our fellow yoga teachers and entrepreneurs on how to market yourself without the ick-factor. Spoiler: there are farts involved.
We need your help. MOJO Yoga aspires to become your hands-down-favorite-website-ever, but in order to do that, we need your input. Pretty please (with a big fat cherry on top) sign up to take our survey so we can better understand your yoga needs. You can either set up a time to talk to a real live person, or receive a set of questions via email.
Hey y'all, it's #FreeVideoFriday time again! In keeping with our focus this week on our goal setting and achievement practices, I offer up for your viewing and practicing pleasure a free peek at something that's absolutely vital to staying focused and clear as we work on our goals: a morning ritual. That's why we love, love, love Sara Crawford's Morning Ritual - 4 Part Purification Pranayama. Check it out for yourself for free this week only, and thereafter it's available 24/7 on myMOJO.tv for members only. Enjoy!
To help you get even more pumped for the weekend and get inspired to send us a clip of your own, our #FreeVideoFriday gift for you is Allison Rote's Pump It Louder. This quick, challenging practice set on a beautiful beach in Maui will certainly brighten up any day and get your energy pumping...
Alright, we’ve cleaned house and cleared up our big visions and goals for the rest of this year so we can end this year with more of our MOJO Life at hand than we’ve ever had before. But, now that we have all this stuff in mind we want to do, and much of it every day at that, how do we begin to prioritize things so we can actually do what we dream of in our daily lives?
So, there’s this Instagram and yoga thing going on. Maybe you’ve heard about it, or even seen it? Perhaps you even participate in it? In case you don’t know, here’s a little glimpse into the strange world of Instayoga. I hopped on the Instagram train a couple of months ago in preparation to launch MOJO Yoga. I created the MOJO Yoga account only to be promptly pulled away to a more important task for about an hour or so. When I returned to create my first post, I already had 3 or 4 dozen followers on my empty account. A little freaked out by this, I ask a friend of mine who’s already in this scene what might be going on to prompt such premature engagement. She says simply, “Anything yoga on Instagram is a hit.”
Did anyone else besides me love summer reading lists on breaks from school? Ok, maybe I didn’t always like every item on the lists, but I think I more so loved the fact that I had all this free time when school was not in session to read at a leisurely pace the items on my list, and then some. There’s just nothing like lazing around on a hot afternoon with an icy beverage and a good book. Am I right? Thus it is in this spirit that I revive the old summer reading list template and infuse it with some MOJO. I’ll be dousing these books with a healthy dose of sand, sun, dirt, snacks, and lemonades over the course of my summer. I hope you’ll join me in this good old fashioned lazy day literacy. If you have your own summer reading list, share it with us in the comments below. The minds that MOJO together, grow together!
Sunday being my day of “rest” and lacking in swell of any sort left me putzing around the house armed with multicolored microfibers and an array of cleansers. Cleanliness is one of my most stubborn contradictions. I intensely appreciate a spotless home, yet always manage to think of any number of things I’d rather do when those magical tidying opportunities arise. Nevertheless, circumstances conspired on this day to keep me in the house donning my best Cinderella scrubs. Somewhere in my hustle I suddenly noticed them: the mirrors. They weren’t all horrendous, mind you. I do regularly buff out splashes and such on the bathroom mirror, so that one stays pretty fresh. But the others? Sheesh, how did they get that way?
You know how it goes. You walk by the things every day, multiple times a day, and maybe only give them a glance, if any attention at all. And on a glimpse they don’t look so bad. The grime builds up subtly, right under your nose. Then one day you decide to bust out your dusty old dusters only to encounter the kind of build up that calls for heavy duty reinforcements. You’re left drudging through a few passes with your mighty mirror polishers, rather than cruising through a swift and easy buff.
Well, friends, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that, just like my bathroom mirror stays fresh with my regular attention, our personal development works the same way. It doesn't matter if it's our yoga practice, our meditation, our exercise, our studies, our relationships, and on and on. All of our personal disciplines, all the things we work on to make us better human beings see so much more success when we give them a little effort every day rather than big chunks of attention irregularly.
Which is why it’s so important to set smart goals for ourselves. If you want to do more yoga, and think you can do 30 minutes every day - do 15. If you want to meditate every day and think you can do 20 minutes - do 10. If you want to start journaling every day, or do a gratitude exercise daily to help with your organization or your mindset, get something with structure (like the awesome Five Minute Journal) and put it by your bedside with a pen so it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. Shaping better human beings out of ourselves is possible…but not easy. Our resolve and commitment to ourselves is tested, day in and day out. Make it easier on yourself at every opportunity. Buff out your mirrors a just a little bit every day, and your vision will stay ever clear.
This week’s sneak peek into the MOJO Member Space hits that easy button with a quick Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) practice. If you aim to get yoga in every day, this is a crucial exercise to have in your arsenal. And remember, this free window into the MOJO Member Space is only open this week. So, if you like this practice, join us for 24/7 unlimited MOJO at your fingertips. Happy practicing!
Have you ever tried to hold a clump of sand in your hands? Of course you have. Then you know that the more tightly you try to grip it the more the sand just falls from every crack and crevice. You also know the other side of that coin, too: if you're too lackadaisical you'll drop the whole load. To keep a hold on as much of your precious sand as possible, your grip must be structured yet relaxed, balanced, and at ease. It's much the same with our grip on anything we do to build our ideal lifestyle. Be it our yoga practice, hobbies, exercise, work, or relationships, everything we pick up as part of creating a better way of living must be held as sand in our attention and efforts. If we try to grip any discipline or practice too tightly, it will find a way to escape our grasp. If our approach is too careless, we'll never retain it. Yet, when we hold the grains of our ideal lifestyle in our attention with a balanced, relaxed focus, enjoying every moment for just what it is, we'll be able to maintain our grip on a whole pile of great lifestyle at once.
Yet, this quality of ease and focus in our grip on our lives is of course not easy in and of itself. We naturally tend to lean either towards the tightly wound or the barely there extremes in our attitudes, depending on personality and life circumstances. And this is nothing new. Our struggles with maintaining focus and balance date back to long before iPads and television. Heck it's what most of the Yoga Sutras and yogic philosophy are about (i.e. calming the fluctuations of our mind, balancing our essential elements of passion/sleep/equanimity, and finding the middle ground between strength and openness). So why do we even try, then? Shouldn't we just give in to our impulses for cake, ice cream, debauchery, and small-mindedness? If we know that humankind has yet to find the magic button we can push to attain that elusive balance and finally get a grip on ourselves and our lives once and for all, why should we try so hard to figure it out?
The answer is we shouldn't...try so hard, that is. We know for a fact that no one is "perfect." And yet we also know for a fact that each of us is capable of achieving so much more for ourselves than we might do on any given day. We also know that it feels really good to move ourselves forward, to be better than we once were. So if we put those knowns together, we can approach every day with a sense of balance and motivation. We might say to ourselves on the one hand, "I'm going to work on x, y, and z amazing things that push me to be a better human being, and that I realistically believe I can accomplish today." Then, we remind ourselves that, "No matter how much of x, y, and z I get done, setting the goals and following through with even a little effort is a huge step forward." Let's compress that into a shorter affirmation you might like: "I believe I can. I will. And I'll enjoy the heck out of doing it."
Keep this in mind this week as you perhaps work on adding something to your yogafied way of life beyond remembering to breathe well. Don't be hard on yourself if things don't work as you plan, rather carry on planning and working on things. Get a grip that's steady, focused, yet at ease, and just watch how many grains of your ideal lifestyle you can collect before your very eyes.
To help you with finding this sense of balanced focus in everything you work on, I'm giving you dear blog readers a chance to try out our Balance and Focus practice for free this week. After that it'll go back into our MOJO Member Space, so if you dig it, join us. There are plenty more wonderful practices like it at your fingertips, 24/7 only in the MOJO Member Space. Get your yoga on, and get your MOJO working.
Our balance is constantly assailed by the wily winds of life all around us. My most recent gust blew me about 4000 miles east of my perch on some rocks in the Pacific. It supplanted me on the ever-rising, ever-expanding rocks of the east coast of the United States amid very familiar, yet always a little changed characters. The 11 day journey was filled with sights and chatter, flavors and events, but not so much of my usual lifestyle. I didn't do any challenging yoga sessions, not one sweaty workout, not one dance with the waves, had more than one not so healthy snack, and not once went to sleep before midnight. I missed my mega daily mojo sources dearly, but there simply wasn't time for it all. Sound familiar? It's times like these when we tend to fall off the balance bandwagon completely. And I've done that more than a few times. It can be a real downer to know that in order to get our mojo working again, we'll have to start all over...again. But, if we can look at it through the lens of what we learn through our practice of things like yoga, we can look at these times in the larger picture, rather than letting ourselves get bogged down in tunnel vision. We know that life swings through the spectrum of possibilities like a pendulum. We know that just as our ups don't last, neither do our downs. Sometimes the wind howls, and others it's dead calm. And the more we begin to recognize these larger patterns in our lives, the more we can start to exert some directional force on the pendulum and keep it more balanced in the center, less wild and errant.
So, instead of falling completely off my balance bandwagon this time, I was prepared. I knew there were some things I just wasn't going to be able to do: workouts, long yoga sessions, and surfing among them. So I let them go. I knew that trying to stay attached to getting those things in would lead to suffering because I knew from past experiences on these trips that they just - don't - happen. But, there were some things I could take with me, some anchors that would be quick, discreet, and require very little to no equipment or space. Maybe I'm wrong, but who wants a houseguest who insists on taking up your living room to do some yoga and squats for a while? Oh, and can we just have some steamed veggies for dinner and go to bed at 9pm? Maybe some of my hosts would have been happy to do those things, but they may also have been very happy to see this weirdo leave, too.
Thus, I packed with me my special sneaky daily mojo tools. The MOJO library and my meditation app fit conveniently in my smart phone. 10-15 minutes of that each morning combined with my Five Minute Journal were very easy to accomplish right after waking up, often without anyone noticing. Then, there was my super sneaky social media yoga challenge activity that tricked just about everyone I visited into doing at least one yoga pose with me every day...some of them got hooked and did more than one pose!
And lastly I packed the most important mojo tool of them all: my state of mind. Neither airplanes packed with crying babies, nor sugar overdose spins, nor jet lag from hell could get me down. That cool, calm state of mind is a posture that we take on after some time of consistent, dedicated effort to making ourselves better each day. It is yoga, and its byproduct all at once. And when we get that mojo state of mind, we can stay aware of life's big picture and grateful for every facet of it, even when we get knocked a bit off balance. From that mindset arises security in the knowledge not only that we can start over again and again, but that we will. We will keep moving forward, keep improving, and keep growing, no matter what.
So, I challenge you this week to take a little personal inventory. How many sneaky implements of mojo do you have in your daily repertoire currently that you could take with you in good times and in bad? If you don't have any, don't worry. Everything I mentioned above is easy to take on for yourself. Just click one to start. The only exception of course being that mojo state of mind. I'm afraid you have to build that one up over time all of your own determination. Fortunately, we'll be here working on it right alongside you. Let's get back to working our mojo!
Ready to bust out your tool belts, folks? No, not the Tim the Tool Man type. I'm talking about the type of tool belt that you carry around inside your brain and your heart: the belt that carries all your tools for making your way in the world. Ruh-roh! Yeah, it's about to get hairy up in here.
It might surprise you to know that I, like many humans, have times when I feel like crap. Yesterday was one of those days, and honestly, I’m still not entirely over it. I’m not sharing this little tidbit with you for sympathy, though that is always embarrassingly comforting. Rather, I’m sharing my pathetic physical state with you as a wee exercise in vulnerability. You may notice that I tend towards the “I am a rock” side of things, which makes admitting feeling like poop pretty difficult at times.
We've been working a lot on ways to Yogafy Your Life lately here on the blog. And I'm giving it so much attention because I know how powerful the skills we learn from yoga can be in transforming and improving our day-to-day lives. I'm certainly feeling it, and I hope you are, too!
BUT, methinks it's high time for a little asana love on this here blog. So, I've whipped up a short little treat for you.
"Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be." -Abraham Lincoln
Happiness: it's something for which we spend a lot of time and energy striving and searching. In our culture, happiness is something to be pursued. Yet, science has long demonstrated that happiness tends to be more of a propensity than a result. So, if happiness does indeed come from within, can we do anything to increase our propensity for it? Well, I believe yoga says absolutely yes!
I know you're probably still working on those goals and action plans (ahem, I definitely am). I know that it can also seem overwhelming to stand before a mountain of dreams you've created for yourself and now have to embark upon the tough climb to the summit. Let's get started together on the right foot. I want to share with you this week someone who has got me fired up about one of my goals for the year. His name is Hal Elrod and he is the author of "The Miracle Morning," all about what he believes to be the super special secret sauce that successful people all seem to share, and I just happen to agree with him. In a nutshell, the secret sauce is....drumroll please... Wake Up! To elaborate, if you wake up a little earlier than you have to every morning so that you can take some time to take care of yourself, you'll naturally be more productive, successful, and stoked on life. Duh, right? Then why aren't most of us doing it?